Cornelius' Corner: "Red-Tailed Hawk Migration"


Cornelius’ Corner: “Red-Tailed Hawk Migration”

Hi friends!

Thanks for coming back to read more of our blog series! Today my friend, the Red-Tailed Hawk, will be sharing fun facts about his migration.

Red-Tailed Hawk standing in front of a tree

You may have noticed before that around this time of year in the month of September is when raptors (like me and my fellow hawks, plus vultures, eagles, and falcons) begin to migrate! We are headed south for the winter. Depending on species, we end up anywhere from the southern United States to Central America to South America! Us Red-tailed Hawks like to spend the winter in central Mexico, the West Indies, and parts of Central America.

The best times for us to migrate depend on weather patterns. Why waste energy flapping when you can let the winds push you along? In the fall, we look for weather fronts moving from the northwest because they will push us towards the southeast where we want to go.

Most of the time, we’ll travel together in large groups using thermals. What is a thermal, you ask? They occur when columns of air rise as they are heated. Our broad wings catch some of that warm rising air, and it lifts us high as it moves. When we get to the top of one thermal, we glide down to catch another. Its like riding a series of elevators in the sky!

You can catch us on our way when the winds are below 20 miles per hour from either the north, northwest or northeast. Look for us atop mountains and ridges, and following along the coast. We like to go early in the morning after the sun comes up and starts to heat up the air for thermals. Most times, you can be sure to catch us between 8am and 4pm EST.

Binoculars are always a good idea to make sure you get a good view! See you in the sky!

Thanks for reading my blog! Stay tuned for more posts. See you at the Grist Mill!

– Cornelius

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